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More of Epictetus – More to Life Changing!!

February 12, 2009

Since I’ve got great reviews from all of my friends, upon reading the Quote of the Day I posted here yesterday, from the greater Greek philosopher, Epictetus , quote that made not only my day but changed my whole being indeed, today I thought I’d  illuminate you and uplift you some more with and through his words, quotes.  

It is my greatest pleasure to have you all review them again and comment back if you’d like. 

I’m sure it will make your day, once again.  Hope they stay with you, forever.  

They are words of wisdom. Not a theoretical practice, as most philosophy is. These are a way of living.

That is how Epictetus believed. That is how he lived.  


  • ” Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich ; for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant. ”
  • ” Difficulties are things that show a person what they are. ”
  • ” First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak. ”
  • ” First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. ”
  • ” Freedom is the right to live as we wish. ”
  • ” God has entrusted me with myself. ”
  • ” He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ”
  • ” If thy brother wrongs thee, remember not so much his wrong-doing, but more than ever that he is thy brother. ”
  • ” If you desire to be good, begin by believing that you are wicked. ”
  • ” If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. ”
  • ” If you wish to be a writer, write. ”
  • ” Is freedom anything else than the right to live as we wish? Nothing else.”
  • ” It is not he who reviles or strikes you who insults you, but your opinion that these things are insulting. ” 
  • ” It takes more than just a good looking body. You’ve got to have the heart and soul to go with it. ”
  • ” It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. ”
  • ” Keep silence for the most part, and speak only when you must, and then briefly. ”
  • ” Know, first, who you are, and then adorn yourself accordingly. ”
  • ” Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. ”
  • ” Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope. ”
  • ” No great thing is created suddenly. ”
  • ” No greater thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen. ”
  • ” No man is free who is not master of himself. ”
  • ” Only the educated are free. ”
  • ” People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them. ”
  • ” Practice yourself, for heaven’s sake in little things, and then proceed to greater. ”
  • ” Silence is safer than speech. ”
  • ” The greater the difficulty the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests. ”
  • ” The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best. ” 
  • ” The two powers which in my opinion constitute a wise man are those of bearing and forbearing. ”
  • ” There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will. ”
  • ” To accuse others for one’s own misfortunes is a sign of want of education. To accuse oneself shows that one’s education has begun. To accuse neither oneself nor others shows that one’s education is complete”
  • ” We are disturbed not by events, but by the views which we take of them.”
  • ” We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak. ”
  • ” Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” 
  • ” You are a little soul carrying around a corpse. ”



Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was born c. 55 AD, at Hierapolis, Phrygia and lived most of his life in Rome until his exile to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece, where he died. The word epiktetos in Greek simply means “acquired.” 
Epictetus spent his youth as a slave in Rome to Epaphroditos, a very wealthy freedman of Nero. Even as a slave, Epictetus used his time productively, studying Stoic Philosophy under Musonius Rufus. He was eventually freed and lived a relatively hard life in ill health in Rome.  
After his exile, Epictetus traveled to Nicopolis, Greece, where he founded a famed philosophical school. 
True to Stoic form, Epictetus lived a life of great simplicity, marked by teaching and intellectual pursuits. So far as is known, Epictetus himself wrote nothing. All that we have of his work was transcribed by his pupil Arrian . 
The main work is The Discourses, four books of which have been preserved (out of an original eight).  Arrian also compiled a popular digest, entitled the Enchiridion, or Handbook. In a preface to the Discourses, addressed to Lucius Gellius, Arrian states that “whatever I heard him say I used to write down, word for word, as best I could, endeavouring to preserve it as a memorial, for my own future use, of his way of thinking and the frankness of his speech.”
Repeatedly attributing his ideas to Socrates, he held that our aim was to be masters of our own lives. 
The role of the Stoic teacher, according to Epictetus, was to encourage his students to learn, first of all, the true nature of things, which is invariable, inviolable and valid for all human beings without exceptions.
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Imagine My World permalink
    February 12, 2009 7:52 am

    Linda these are simply beautiful!

  2. Imagine My World permalink
    February 12, 2009 7:24 am

    Kinda these are simply beautiful!


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